MINIMUM WAGE: LABOUR THREATENS TO SHUT DOWN NIGERIA
The organised labour has threatened a nationwide strike if the government failed to begin process of reviewing the workers’ minimum wage.
On Thursday, the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), an affiliate member of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), in Kaduna warned that labour may shut down Nigeria.
NUTGTWN National President, Comrade John Adaji, and General Secretary, Comrade Issa Aremu called on the Federal Government to urgently constitute a committee on the review of the current national minimum wage.
They urged NLC and TUC to make urgent case for workers’ control of the country’s pension industry, saying pension fund was workers’ capital and should not be a play-ground to reward failed politicians.
“As demonstrated by workers during the May Day in Abuja, Nigeria risks national industrial crisis except governments at all levels give due attention to the critical issue of compensation of workers”, Aremu said.“
Hungry workers are legitimately angry workers. Nigerian workers are not only hungry but legitimately angry.
“We commend both the Senate and the House of Representatives for their respective facilitating roles to address the current issue of national minimum wage.”
However, the responsibility lies squarely with President Muhammadu Buhari ably being represented by Vice President Osinbajo.
“National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Act 2011 which offers the current N18,000 was for a 5-year cycle due for review in 2015.”
The five-year time limit was to avoid minimum wage stagnation and attendant seemingly increases that follow. In UK minimum wage is reviewed yearly. Today it is £7.5 per hour, about N37,000 per day!
“Long before the current recession, Nigeria workers have long been in depression. With Naira devaluation and high inflation, 2010 negotiated national minimum wage of N18,000 which was about $120 in 2010 has fallen to below $50 in 2017 worsening income poverty.”
Nigeria can not get out of recession with poorly paid work-force”, the labour leader said.
Recall that Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Monday stated that its demand for a new minimum wage remained intact.
President, Ayuba Wabba spoke at a meeting attended by officials of the Federal Government and the leadership of the National Assembly over new minimum wage and salary arrears owed workers.
“We have made a formal demand, which you are aware. It is N56,000, there is no need repeating it every time”, Wabba told newsmen.